Norman Grubb shares a good word on the principle of labor and rest: “Take as an example the learning of a foreign language. Yes, for any experience which makes us more aware of our need of God must contribute to spiritual progress, unless we deny the Lord who bought us.”. We may sometimes feel inclined to be impatient with ourselves because we do not make more rapid progress, but we have to learn to trust the Lord with our spiritual education. You are getting Three books with your order. The simple, pungent insights of this work are refreshing. “One day in the House of Commons, British Prime Minister Disraeli made a brilliant speech on the spur of the moment. Paul, with God’s “Not I, but Christ” (Gal. “Calvary is the secret of it all. But before long there comes the sickening realization of an element within that pulls one back to self-centeredness, to the world, to the rule of the Law, to sin. 1:23) and fail to press on to know “Begotten … by the resurrection of Jesus Christ … to an inheritance” (vv. God sets us free from the dominion of sin, not by strengthening our old man but by crucifying him; not by helping him to do anything but by removing him from the scene of action.”, The believer does not have to beg for help. Order for Church & Missionary, p. 310). Therefore that portion of our lives that is not His living is not Christian living; and that portion of our service that is not His doing is not Christian service; for all such life and service have but a human and natural source, and Christian life and service have a supernatural and spiritual source.” Paul insisted, “For to me to live is Christ” (Phil. And yet there is a hunger deep within that will not allow him to quit. The attitude of the Apostle Paul became: “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 5:1). We are told to believe it, and so we dare to do so and declare so. While their motive was good it is impossible to commend their method. The same movement from self- centredness to self-transcendence is the criterion of growth in developmental psychology. Watchman Nee puts first things first in saying, “God does not set us here first of all to preach or to do any work for Him. And this God-dependence only begins when self-dependence ends. 8 . We have to trust His love all through, and to learn increasingly to distrust ourselves” (C. A. Coates). I. Man’s way is to try to suppress sin by seeking to overcome it; God’s way is to remove the sinner. But the course of spiritual experience, of spiritual life, is to discover, to appropriate, and to live by all that the life represents and means.”. More than anything else the service of prayer for others necessitates a triune understanding—that of our Father, of ourselves and of others. This is reality which springs from faith founded on the facts of the Word. 1:6).”. He certainly will judge the flesh if we do not, but He never departs from the love which He has expressed to the prodigal, and we find that when the cloud, which walking in the flesh produced, has passed away, His love, blessed be His Name, had never changed.”. Thus we will continue because we know that He ever continues to work in and through us that which He began and finished on our behalf in our Lord Jesus Christ. And it is necessary for Him to engineer our exchange from carnal kernel Christians to fruitful fellowshipping disciples. 2:20), was all right! Experiences and blessings, though real gracious visitations from the Lord, are not sufficient to rest upon, nor should they lead us to glory in ourselves, as if we had a store of grace for time to come, or were yet at the end of the conflict. 30:15). As this clearly exemplifies, “he that believeth shall not make haste” (Isa. The power to do is not a permanent gift, but must be each moment received from the Holy Spirit. Notice what L. L. Letgers, co-founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, has to say about this, referring to Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ”: “If you run over in your mind and find one single blessing with which God might bless us today, with which He has not already blessed us, then what He told Paul was not true at all, because he said, ‘God hash.’ It is all done. They are the foundation of and fundamental to it. The idea that, because failure to lead a holy life is due to our impotence, something more is therefore demanded of us, leads naturally to this false conception of the way of deliverance. “The truth is that God has not altered. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). There are two questions that every believer must settle as soon as possible. Sin need have no more power over the believer than he grants it through unbelief. Well, there are a number of reasons for all this frustration, floundering and failure; and, praise the Lord, there are scriptural answers available to all who need and want them. Evan H. Hopkins: “The trouble of the believer who knows Christ as his justification is not sin as to its guilt, but sin as to its ruling power. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (2:13). If and when we turn from the facts and begin to rely on anything or anyone else, including ourselves, self is released from the cross, as active and enslaving as ever. And we are not ourselves the first makers and farmers of our new holy nature, any more than of our original corruption, but both are formed ready for us to partake of them. Self’s reaction to them is the cause and the one problem to be dealt with. At first the growing believer thinks, would have others feel, that all his service Is effective; but in time he comes to realize that the Lord is not doing so much through him as He is in him. Let us cease laying down to the saints long lists of ‘conditions’ of entering into the blessed life in Christ; and instead, as the primal preparation for leading them into the experience of this life, show them what their position, possessions, and privileges in Christ already are. They take us from the “help me” attitude to that of giving thanks; from begging to appropriation. The peace is God’s toward us, through His beloved Son—on this our peace is to be based. Success comes via failure; life springs out of death and so on. Fear, too, has a place in Christianity, but God has higher and more effective motivations than fear, and one of these is love. “The powerful effect of the cross with God, in heaven, in the blotting out of guilt, and our renewed union with God, is inseparable from the other effect—the breaking down of the authority of sin over man, by the crucifixion of self. Bestseller Principles of Spiritual Growth story ☃ A friend once handed me a copy of a book entitled The Green Letters written by Miles J Stanford After reading the first few pages I knew I had something in my hand that was extraordinary Day by day during my devotional time I read at least one section and found the book to contain one of the most pract. In these passages our union (identification) with Christ, the crucified One, and the conformity to Him resulting from the union, are represented as the result of the power exercised within us and upon us by the cross” (Andrew Murray). You are getting Three books with your order. Nowhere do spiritual principles mean more than here. “He begins to know something of the experience which Paul so graphically describes: ‘What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I’ (Rom. Three Steps in Reckoning 4 3. ‘If only I were stronger,’ we say, ‘I could overcome my violent outbursts of temper,’ and so we plead with the Lord to strengthen us that we may exercise more self-control. In order to appropriate something for our daily walk in Christ, there are two essentials: to see what is already ours in Christ; and to be aware of our need for it. In the important but exhausting labor process we come to see the needed truth; we become sure of our facts; we begin to realize something of what is ours in the Lord Jesus Christ. 23:29, 30). We must get to know ourselves and that we have no strength. 4:9-11). In preparation, there is a tearing down before there can be a building up. 11:24). The Green Letters: Principles of Spiritual Growth 84:2 Spiritual Growth Plan Week 1 Benjamin Franklin said “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” How true that is. This Subject Is a Deeply Important One . 3:19); “Your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3); “That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (II Cor. The period of rapid growth, when woody fibre is actually deposited between the bark and the trunk, occupies but four to six weeks in May, June and July.”. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make the difference. Now it is true that the new convert often begins and continues for some time at a fast rate. 5:17). This appropriation must be a case of clear, scriptural, specific trust. One of God’s most effective means in the process is failure. To Him be the glory both now and forever. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). His goal is to see Christ inwrought in believers. 78,79). � �l%��Ž��� �W��H* �=BR d�J:::�� �$ @H* �,�T Y � �@R d�� �I �� 6:1). We learned not to add to a finished work in the matter of justification, and now we must learn not to add to the finished work of emancipation. We diverge from it; and the tendency is to suppose that the blessed God has altered toward us. Thank God, He has accepted us in His Son, and upon this fact we must rest our faith. Which of us does not know something of the failure of our ways, well intentioned as they may be? They forget that it is not a present experience that ensures fruit unto maturity, but a patient continuance in well doing. L.E. Actually, our Father has trained every one of us for clear-cut, explicit faith in this second aspect of Calvary: our individual identification with the Lord Jesus in His death to sin and rising onto resurrection ground. It is after we have been subdued, refined, and chastened; when love of self and the world is gone, that we learn to abide in touch with Him at all times, and in all places or surroundings” (MacIlravy). For the first time I can now understand some of the things the apostle Paul was saying in his letters to the churches. As our Lord takes us along through the years, it slowly dawns on us that there are vast, almost infinite, areas of development through which He must still lead us. ), in the hope that something will change—but it rarely does, and then not for long. He does have to thankfully appropriate that which is already his in Christ, for, “the just shall live by faith” (Heb. Like the universal Tea Party: I had a little tea partyOne afternoon at three;‘Twas very small, three guests in all,Just I, myself and me.Myself ate up the sandwiches,While I drank up the tea,‘Twas also I who ate the pieAnd passed the cake to me. This is a great fact, true of all believers” (Christian Victory, p. 11). In that the Husbandman’s method for true spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life, the temptation to shortcut is especially strong unless we see the value of, and submit to, the necessity of the time element. And everyone knows that evidence must be founded on facts. The believer finally pleads to be made fruitful at any cost, and then he hears the Lord say, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (v. 24). First, the Lord Jesus is the source of our Christian life—we were born into Him; God has made us complete in Him. “The believer can never overcome the old man even by the power of the new apart from the death of Christ, and therefore the death of Christ unto sin is indispensable, and unless the cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the old man, he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome self, and the struggle is a hopeless one” (C. Usher). Now that is the first rung in the ladder of faith. There are no right or wrong answers, only true answers. 4:3). Paul writes to us, as he did to Timothy: “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Have we been afraid to really believe God? Prayer | The Access of Spiritual Growth | Dr. Tony Evans | The Alternative - Duration: 28:30. Read PDF The Green Letters: Principles of Spiritual Growth Authored by Miles J. Stanford Released at 1981 Filesize: 2.36 MB … It treats the fallen creation (self-life) as capable of improvement, and the meaning of the cross bringing to death the old Adam race as fallen beyond repair, is thus nullified” (DeV. /Creator (�� w k h t m l t o p d f 0 . Then, though we teach the same doctrine, speak the same words, the impact on others is very different, manifesting itself in an increasing depth of the Spirit’s work within them also” (Watchman Nee). It is during these necessary times that the believer often feels that God has ceased to carry out His part and that there is little or no use in seeking to continue on. 3 0 obj “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Cor. Appropriation does not necessarily mean to gain something new but to set aside for our practical possession something that already belongs to us. The Blood procures our pardon; … the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are” (The Normal Christian Life, pp. Why would we not have a plan for this area of our lives like we do other areas of life? Spiritual Growth Plan My heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God- Ps. In that He died to sin, He died out of the realm of sin, and He arose into the realm of “newness of life” (Rom. Just be occupied with Him. “Without a bitter experience of their own inadequacy and poverty they are quite unfitted to bear the burden of spiritual ministry. That they have some strength. These principles are stated in such practical form that you will find it rewarding to read and reread them and, of course, to put them into practice. And now Christ lives in me, and ‘the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me’ [Gal. “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. Or poor health; yes, and good health too! As we learn to stand on the finished work of Calvary, the Holy Spirit will begin to faithfully and effectively apply that finished work of the cross to the self-life, thereby holding it in the place of death—inactive—resulting in the “not I, but Christ” life (Gal. Husbandman that He is, the beginning of God’s cultivation of the hungry-hearted believer is downward. Notice this exhortation comes after Romans six. ‘Oh yes,’ replied the President, ‘but then it depends upon what you want to be. No believer will truly come to know the Lord Jesus as his life until he knows by experience the deadly self-life deep within for what it is. We may be forgiven because He died in our stead; we may be delivered because we died with Him. There the eternal emancipation proclamation was signed with the blood of the Lamb and sealed by the Spirit of God. When shall we be convinced it is so utterly bad that it is beyond all recovery? As we pursue church health, we'll most likely experience church growth … F.J. Huegel: “If the great Luther, with his stirring message of justification by faith, had with Paul moved on from Romans 5 to Romans 6 with its amazing declarations concerning the now justified sinner’s position of identification with his crucified Lord, would not a stifled Protestantism be on higher ground today? Therefore he does not easily despair of others, but looks beyond sinfulness, willfulness, and stupidity, to the might of unchanging love. Appearances are not to be taken into account. All this is not in vain; it is necessary. All growth is progressive, and the finer the organism, the longer the process. A disciple is one who is free from the old and free for the new. He drops the seed of dissatisfaction into our hearts; He begins to show us that there is far more to this Christian life than just being saved and active for Him. This involves outside leadership (a stranger to the individual problems) and the devastating revival routine (confession, new resolutions, etc. And as the Lord Jesus is allowed to express Himself through our personality, this poor, sin-sick world will see “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). Our Lord Jesus so often uses natural facts in order to teach the deepest spiritual truths. 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